Defining clinically meaningful change in health-related quality of life.


Journal Article

This article reviews current approaches to defining clinically meaningful change in health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and provides guidelines for their use. Definitions of clinically meaningful change are discussed. Two broad methods for identifying clinically meaningful change are contrasted: anchor-based methods and distribution-based methods. Anchor-based methods include cross-sectional approaches and longitudinal approaches. Distribution-based methods include those based on statistical significance, sample variability, and measurement precision. Anchor-based and distribution-based methods have advantages and limitations, and neither seems to be superior to the other. An integrated system for defining clinically meaningful change is recommended that combines anchor-based and distribution-based methods. We propose a new terminology for describing meaningful change derived from anchor-based and distribution-based methods.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Crosby, RD; Kolotkin, RL; Williams, GR

Published Date

  • May 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 56 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 395 - 407

PubMed ID

  • 12812812

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12812812

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0895-4356

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0895-4356(03)00044-1


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States